creating your own technique


Purple Belt
Jan 12, 2002
Reaction score
sacramento, ca
how long do you think it should be before somebody can make up his own technique, and then teach students? i am curious what people think. i have to go now, but i will post my opinion on that later.
At least a couple of years. Otherwise, you really run the risk of reinventing the wheel, and not knowing the basics from which all the advanced techniques come from.

Case in point...guy I trained with (white belt attending his 3rd class) kept thinking 2-3 moves ahead (which is good, I think) and he saw all these 'options' for the technique (the basic slap-grab-hit bit). He had good ideas of where to go with it, and wanted to explore it, but he didn't have the basics down at all.

Or, if ya miss 85% of the time when trying 'wrist shock', you definately arent ready to move on to the disarm part. :)
I don't feel that much time is required to do so. I always think about my options. Every time I would see Remy I would have a list of techniques I would like to show him. Half the time he would say good. The other half he would say bad, show me why and give me something better to do.

I encourage my students to do the same. Before they can do this they need to know the base move first.

Make up techniques whenever they feel comfortable with the core techniques from which they are based on. As far as teaching it to others, not until they can make it work consistently for themselves and even then, teach it as a "variation" to the core technique and emphases that it has been altered to fit thier style, body type, or whatever. They should be able to demonstrate why it has been altered, and tested and proven in fighting.

With all people I have trained with, most people do the same thing with maybe a slight variation, they all have footwork, striking angles and stoking patterns, etc. The things that I try to pick up are how they taylored the art to themselves. Not just techniques, but also concepts of fighting.
I believe most people should not create there own techniques. The reason being that it is untested in combat. We do not live in age where people get challenged and tested. A technique may work in the dojo but against a real opponent trying to hurt you is totally different.

Now this is in regards to real combat and not tourney. There is nothing wrong with trying to come up with a tech. and and trying it in sparring. Because there is no risk. But on the street where it counts thats a different story.

It is also why I'm against people who create there own styles (for the most part)

Black Grass
Unfortunately some people setup their own styles as it is one way of making your self top man, e.g. Grand Super Fantastic Master.

No-one else can test you in your own style and you can charge what you like.


Seriously speaking though, the question to be asked is why would you want to start your own style.
i agree with black grass mostly. why because most of the people today who make there own styles are talking just as ignorant as a beginner who is saying the same thing. when a guy does not have a lot of experience fighting freestyle, he does not know what he is talking about, he is guessing. any beginner can see a lot of techniques, then come up with other ways to do it. but this alone does not make you qualified to teach others to fight. also a little sparring success is not good enough because just being able to make something work is not the same as wisdom created by years of fighting and watching fights.

what to look out for is people who say "competition is not the street". this is true, but you will have to do something closer than a competition. pre arrange techniques and drills is not more realistic than a free spar even if the sparring is light sparring. see putting down sparring and competition is how people who dont fight make excuse for no fighting. in my town i have a guy who owned a school who says his style is for the street not competition, and they dont even class spar, because its not realistic enough. my question to these kind of people: WHAT is realistic enough? do you fight in the street? oh, you do "simulate street senarios". ==theory.

for someone to be a teacher, he has to have his own experiences. and his experience should be in testing his technique. not experience showing others in seminars and magazine articles. not experience practicig, but experience in some kind of sparring. now i am not saying become a flashy competition guy with fancy uniforms, i am saying you have to do years and years of fighting. in order to be a good teacher, one that is wise and experience, you have to have a whole career of fighting behind you. if you care about filipino traditon, this is how you become a manong. people saw you, some have had matches with you, so now they know what you can do and your not just talking, so now you earn the respect of people around you.

here in the US respect comes when you make videos, articles and seminars and advertisings. the same thing for a new style. how many people kiss *** of this krav maga, but they saw it. they only heard other people talk about it, and maybe they didnt even see it themself. in the philippines, the saying is "i make up my mind after i try him out". earn your respect as a teacher. so what if the rest of the world didnt heard of you.
to make up your own style, you have to use the systems you are adding, and know that you can make it work against all kind of people. you have to know who it will work against, and who is not going to work against. i will say its safe to say you have to have about 150 matches or more to be a black belter (expert, not teaching) and then another 150 to be a teacher (sparring against other experts or advance players), and then promote at least 2 generations of experts to make your own style.

why did i say this? who took your new ideas and then tested them. i am sure you made changes, now those people should have a full learning career of this new idea. now then, you will have more faith in what you are teaching, not just talking. would you put your life in the hands of a guy who has not tested his life savings skills? woul d you train for a championship fight under a guy who never been in a ring, and never had a fighter as a pro?

martial artist today have lost respect for the martial arts. today you can put anything together, then hide behind "this is my truth" and "full contact fighting is not the street" and "i teach for life saving skills not sport". well i got news for you. some of these sports athalete we put down, like mike tyson, gracies, maurice smith, these guys can destroy you like a girl because they have higher level of skill, conditionings, experience, pain tolerance, senisitivity, reflex, things you cannot "simulate" you have to develop. and these are people who are qualified to be followed.
oh yeah, i been training for 22 years in the philippine martial arts, as a black belter i have 9 years non stop of point fighting, 5 years of full contact and boxing, 3 years nonstop of stickfighting, and 9 years of teaching. today, i have two sparring partners for stickfighting with the hands, and they are both teachers. we dont wear gear, but we do use skinny sticks, and we do stick to stick, and empty hand to stick. and still i am to young to make my own style because i am still investigating. i compete once in a while to see how i am doing, plus its fun. if i stop just to create my own technique and dont evolved any more, i would cheat my people.

cacoy canete, in his seminars, he still spars, and he got more than 50 years in the art. at the end of his path, HE is qualified to make new styles because he has seen enough. but for some guy with less than 10 years, your kidding yourself.
making your own technique for yourself is fine, and if you want to show people your way thats fine to. but to teach people who might not make you technique work for himself, and call yourself teacher, that is wrong.

as a teacher you have to take anybody and make them into a decent fighter. you need to make a separate style for a fat guy who is slow, and one for a fat guy who is fast. then there is a passive person, then a hot head, then a lazy person who wants to learn, impatient people, arrogant people, atheltic ones, weak people, fast learners, slow learners. this is a skill you can learn from a tape book or seminar, and you cant just figure it on on your own in a few years. you have to know how different people fight, not just other arnisadors, or you guess what might happen. you learn other fighting styles so you can show some one how to do it, when they are different from you. you need to know how to bring out the strength in a guy, and courage in a cowards. there is more to being a arnis teacher than just knowing how to swing a stick and take one away. this is what i call "wisdom".
I think much of what the Kuntawman is very good and interesting. I think a person should never be "finished" learning and continually grow.

I think "techniques" come out of principles of human physiology, psychology, and biomechanics--how the human body moves and reacts to stimuli.

So I think to experiment, a new "technique" must be tried, tested under realistic conditions (with measures taken for relative safety of course) with different opponents, modified, retested, etc. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work.

I think experimentation in a safe "laboratory" of messing around with your training partners would tend to not work in the "real world" because the human body reacts differently when put under different stress. That's why I think martial arts athletes such as no-holds-barred athletes would actually do well in a "real fight" because their "sparring" and training is much more intense and realistic, even if they can't eye gouge and bite, kick to the groin in their competition, they have developed the key attributes of intensity, timing, distance, etc. that one would need to pull of eye gouges, biting, groin manipulation ;) if ever faced with the situation.

In any case, there are some random and unorganized thoughts on the topic.